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Sunset Blvd.

In an interview with, Stephen Sondheim said the following about a past interest in taking Sunset Blvd. to the stage:

I never wrote anything for Sunset Boulevard... shortly after Forum, Burt Shevelove and I started to write a version of Sunset Boulevard. We got maybe an outline, I think, and just the beginnings of a first scene, and I happened to meet Billy Wilder at a cocktail party, and shyly said to him that a friend of mine and I were starting to make a musical of his movie, and he said, "Oh you can't do that," and I figured that he was going to say that we couldn't get the rights; but he went on to say, "It can't be a musical - it has to be an opera, because it's about a dethroned queen." And that seemed to me such a shrewd observation that I called Burt and said "Let's forget it, because I certainly don't want to do an opera."

Many years later after Night Music, Hugh Wheeler wanted to do it for Angie with Hal Prince. Hal had originally planned to do it with Andrew Lloyd Webber, but they had a financial falling-out, and then with Kander and Ebb, but he asked me if I would do it, and I told him the same anecdote, and he said "Well, let's do an opera then." And I said, "If I wanted to do an opera, that sounds like a perfectly possible idea, but I don't want to do an opera, and therefore I really don't want to do Sunset Boulevard."

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